Cosmology in Mesoamerica

  • Keith Jordan
Reference work entry

The Native American peoples who occupied Central and Southern Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and Western Honduras prior to the Spanish Conquest of the sixteenth century shared many aspects of both material culture and ideology. This cultural unity, underlying varying expressions of the basic pattern across linguistic, ethnic, and political divisions, is the basis for the modern anthropological construct of Mesoamerica as a distinct culture area. Among the achievements of the pre‐Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations of the Aztecs, Maya, Mixtecs, Zapotecs, and others are complex myths and mental maps of the universe as they understood it. These elaborate conceptualizations encompass multiple realms of existence and sequences of creation and destruction across vast epochs of time. While each distinct culture generated its own cosmology, all such models of the nature of the cosmos are united by common features marking them as distinctively Mesoamerican....

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keith Jordan

There are no affiliations available